Here's what the Enviro-Idiots Should be Protesting

Forget all the precious, specious talk among the enviro-fascists or enviro-idiots about this, that or the other. HERE is something that would warrant some good marching of those ever concerned and active little feet… So enviros? up to the task of doing something that will actually do some good for a change? and do heaps in terms of reducing CO2 AND reducing nuclear waste? Huh? Note also that this has not been allowed due to concerns among enviro-idiots. I again point out that for those who are shrieking so loudly about global warming now that YOU were the ones that stopped nuclear energy 30 years ago. YOU are the ones that are responsible for all this dangerous waste piling up. YOU are the ones that are now marching FOR nuclear energy. NOW, do YOU know why no one takes you seriously about global warming NOW? haha

[quote]What if the government allowed you to burn only 25 percent of every tank of gas? Or if Washington made you pour half of every gallon of milk down the drain? What if lawmakers forced us to bury 95 percent of our energy resources? That is exactly what Washington does when it comes to safe, affordable and CO2-free nuclear energy. Indeed, 95 percent of the used fuel from America’s 104 power reactors, which provide about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, could be recycled for future use. To create power, reactor fuel must contain 3-5 percent burnable uranium. Once the burnable uranium falls below that level, the fuel must be replaced. But this “spent” fuel generally retains about 95 percent of the uranium it started with, and that uranium can be recycled.

Over the past four decades, America’s reactors have produced about 56,000 tons of used fuel. That “waste” contains roughly enough energy to power every U.S. household for 12 years. And it’s just sitting there, piling up at power plant storage facilities. Talk about waste! The sad thing is, the United States developed the technology to recapture that energy decades ago, then barred its commercial use in 1977. We have practiced a virtual moratorium ever since.

Other countries have not taken such a backward approach to nuclear power. France, whose 59 reactors generate 80 percent of its electricity, has safely recycled nuclear fuel for decades. They turned to nuclear power in the 1970s to limit their dependence on foreign energy. And, from the beginning, they made recycling used fuel central to their program. Upon its removal from French reactors, used fuel is packed in containers and safely shipped via train and road to a facility in La Hague. There, the energy producing uranium and plutonium are removed and separated from the other waste and made into new fuel that can be used again. The entire process adds about 6 percent in costs for the French.

Anti-nuclear fear mongering has proved baseless. The French have recycled fuel like this for 30 years without incident: no terrorist attack, no bad guys stealing uranium, no contribution toward nuclear weapons proliferaton, and no accidental explosions. France meets all of its recycling needs with one facility. Indeed, domestic French reprocessing only takes about half of La Hague’s capacity. The other half is used to recycle other countries’ spent nuclear fuel. Since beginning operations, France’s La Hague plant has safely processed over 23,000 tones of used fuel—enough to power France for fourteen years. Their success has sparked plenty of interest abroad. The French company AREVA has already helped Japan with its reprocessing facility and is currently looking at the feasibility of building a similar plant in China. The British, Japanese, Indians, and Russians all engage in some level of reprocessing.

Of course, there is still waste involved. But recycling produces much lower volumes of highly radioactive waste, and the French deal with it effectively—placing some waste in short-term, interim storage or preparing the rest for long-term storage in their version of Yucca Mountain.

All is not perfect in France. They are still working to open a permanent geologic storage facility. But the critical issue is that they have an organization to handle used nuclear fuel that allows their program to advance without being held hostage to the politics of geologic storage.

If the United States is serious about reducing CO2 and energy dependence, it must get serious about nuclear power and begin recycling used nuclear fuel.

A viable reprocessing capability not only would give the United States a valuable energy resource, it would reduce the amount of material going to Yucca Mountain. The U.S. has already produced enough waste to nearly fill Yucca’s legal limit of 70,000 metric tons—subsequent studies estimate that its actual capacity is about double that amount and some believe that it is even greater. It would also put the United States back on the map as a leader in commercial nuclear technology, which today it is not. Nuclear fuel reprocessing is a safe activity that should be part of America’s nuclear energy program. It can be affordable and is technologically feasible. The French are proving that on a daily basis. The question is: Why can’t oui?

Jack Spencer is a research fellow for nuclear energy policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.[/quote]

foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318688,00.html

Yes, I don’t understand why we don’t have reprocessing plants. It’s big industry in the UK, and countries like Japan send their waste to the UK to be reprocessed, too. Of course, reprocessing is big business in many other countries as well.

I remember reading a while back that the US didn’t have the expertise / technology to reprocess. That seems strange to me…I mean, how difficult would it be to get both for a country like the US? I think a fear of “terrorism” has played into it, too.

I won’t even bother reading the OP because the title alone is so stupid.

Enviro-idiots??? :idunno: Are you opposed to the environment?

Are you so mighty (or mutant) that you don’t need clean air and water for your survival?

Would you like to live downwind from this?

Would you like to go fishing in this river?

Who do you think fights to prevent such messes?

The article you posted does not mention environmentalists at all, so where did you get this “enviro-fascist”, “enviro-idiot” stuff?

Reference: Usine de retraitement de la Hague - Wikipédia

I have to agree with Fred’s article. But not to the title or comments.
At least to the fact that the technology should be at least be further explored.
To prevent more pictures like the one MT showed.
(Wow, how could someone agree with both Fred and MT in the same post?)

A friend of mine, much more to the left of the political spectrum than myself, while discussing the current problem of global warming and fossil fuels, told me about his younger days as a “No Nukes” activist, and then said “Boy, where we fucking wrong.”

MT, I love your photo of the power plant, I must make a copy of it.
As someone in the alternative energy field, I often talk to government people and others about such issues.
When the talk comes to carbon emmisions and such, I usually get a blank stare about electricity.
Everybody that has ever been behind an old car, bus, or scooter has breathed the nasty shit coming out of the tailpipe, but that 110 socket in your house surely doesn’t put out any pollution.

Electrical generation is currently the largest producer of C02 emmisions.

Ending the moratorium on nukes might help bring this down significantly.

[quote=“bobl”]Electrical generation is currently the largest producer of C02 emmisions.

Ending the moratorium on nukes might help bring this down significantly.[/quote]

Yes and no.

Electricity generation (“energy supply”) is around 26% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions. Industry, forestry and ag (19%, 17%, 13% respectively) are major contributors as well, and the inter-sectoral links are many and varied. Short story is fixing coal-fired generation isn’t going to clean-up the planet on its own (as has been suggested elsewhere in f.com threads on CC). Ref. Figure SPM.3 at ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-repor … yr_spm.pdf Interesting to note here, however, that transport is not the biggest issue on the table. Buying that Prius won’t make as big a whole in the aggregate emissions footprint as you might think.

The problem with nukes is getting the costing right (and for that matter, transparent). To its credit, the cost curve for a coal-fired power station is pretty predictable over 30-50 years - early spike and relatively flat thereafter. Feel the need to add-in CO2 externalities? It’s a relatively simple operation to bang an emissions increment on the top of this curve. The curve for nuke plants, on the other hand, is messy. They get old and safety concerns start to emerge - potentially large spike in costs toward the end of their useful life (high uncertainty). Thus, making NPV comparisions between clean coal and nukes aint no easy matter. Don’t believe me, just ask the insurance industry - they won’t touch nuke plants just about anywhere.

Getting emissions down in the stationary generation sector will require a portfolio of technologies - nukes will just be one part of the puzzle. There is no magic bullet. This said, I am far more sympathetic to calls for the application of cleaner, more efficient coal-fired tech over the expansion of nuclear generation. A combined-cycle coal-fired plant is more than twice the efficiency of the older boiler-type plants. Given you can make bombs out of enriched uranium and there are significant safety concerns with nuke stations, wouldn’t you attempt to clean up coal before expanding the nuclear option? China is building around 2 new coal-fired power stations a week, and almost all of them are old tech. Herein resides a safe, easy and relatively inexpensive abatement opportunity.

[quote=“guangtou”]
The problem with nukes is getting the costing right (and for that matter, transparent). To its credit, the cost curve for a coal-fired power station is pretty predictable over 30-50 years - early spike and relatively flat thereafter. Feel the need to add-in CO2 externalities? It’s a relatively simple operation to bang an emissions increment on the top of this curve. The curve for nuke plants, on the other hand, is messy. They get old and safety concerns start to emerge - potentially large spike in costs toward the end of their useful life (high uncertainty). Thus, making NPV comparisions between clean coal and nukes aint no easy matter. Don’t believe me, just ask the insurance industry - they won’t touch nuke plants just about anywhere.[/quote]

Yes, although there is a general perception that nukes died due to public opposition, the reality is that in the 1970s the general public, recipient of three decades of pro-nuke propaganda, supported nuclear power. It was the financial industry that gave up on nukes when they proved unprofitable and unpredictable. Three Mile Island simply opened the public’s eye to what insiders already knew. Nuclear power can only survive on massive government subsidies.

Not mentioned in this article, though internet research will turn it up in a flash, is that reprocessing + recycling is widely considered to be more costly than the option the US is currently following.

Michael

When was the last nuke power plant built in the USA? 25 + years ago?

When was the last nuke power plant in the world built? How recent?

Safe to say different technology involved with the two.

[quote=“guangtou”][quote=“bobl”]Electrical generation is currently the largest producer of C02 emmisions.

Ending the moratorium on nukes might help bring this down significantly.[/quote]

Yes and no.

Electricity generation (“energy supply”) is around 26% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions. Industry, forestry and ag (19%, 17%, 13% respectively) are major contributors as well, and the inter-sectoral links are many and varied. Short story is fixing coal-fired generation isn’t going to clean-up the planet on its own (as has been suggested elsewhere in f.com threads on CC). Ref. Figure SPM.3 at ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-repor … yr_spm.pdf Interesting to note here, however, that transport is not the biggest issue on the table. Buying that Prius won’t make as big a whole in the aggregate emissions footprint as you might think.

The problem with nukes is getting the costing right (and for that matter, transparent). To its credit, the cost curve for a coal-fired power station is pretty predictable over 30-50 years - early spike and relatively flat thereafter. Feel the need to add-in CO2 externalities? It’s a relatively simple operation to bang an emissions increment on the top of this curve. The curve for nuke plants, on the other hand, is messy. They get old and safety concerns start to emerge - potentially large spike in costs toward the end of their useful life (high uncertainty). Thus, making NPV comparisions between clean coal and nukes aint no easy matter. Don’t believe me, just ask the insurance industry - they won’t touch nuke plants just about anywhere.

Getting emissions down in the stationary generation sector will require a portfolio of technologies - nukes will just be one part of the puzzle. There is no magic bullet. This said, I am far more sympathetic to calls for the application of cleaner, more efficient coal-fired tech over the expansion of nuclear generation. A combined-cycle coal-fired plant is more than twice the efficiency of the older boiler-type plants. Given you can make bombs out of enriched uranium and there are significant safety concerns with nuke stations, wouldn’t you attempt to clean up coal before expanding the nuclear option? China is building around 2 new coal-fired power stations a week, and almost all of them are old tech. Herein resides a safe, easy and relatively inexpensive abatement opportunity.[/quote]

I agree that there is no magic bullet technology out there yet. Solar and wind both have limitations.
Fuel cells are promising but still have a long way to go before becoming viable. The membranes are very costly and only good for about 2000 hours.

I’m not sure about this clean coal you are referring to. I know that some types of coal (hard or bituminous vs soft) have less particulates, and thus put out less pollution particulate wise, but isn’t their carbon output the same.
Why not use bio-mass instead. Think about all of the power that could be generated if we collected all of the rice stalks left after harvest instead of burning it in the fields.

Ethanol has also proven itself to be quite good, but what about it’s effect on rising food costs.
If they could find a practical way to use the carbohydrates in the plant byproducts left over after harvest this would be great.
I guess there is an acid they can use to do this, but still needs more development.

Another thing is VAWT or vertical wind turbines, alot of people dismiss this because they are not as efficient as the big horizontals, but they also provide many benefits for practical use in the urban environment.

  1. Noise - they are quiet.
  2. Turbulence - they will work on a rooftop in the city.
    3.Low rpm’s and windspeed - they will still produce energy at lower speeds.

The thing is, we may not have 20 years to figure out all of the answers. Seems like this recycled nuke thing could go online pretty quickly, and may buy some time to come up with better solutions.
It’s already here, and it is already a problem (disposal) so why not get some more use out of it.

[quote=“bobl”]I agree that there is no magic bullet technology out there yet. Solar and wind both have limitations.
Fuel cells are promising but still have a long way to go before becoming viable. The membranes are very costly and only good for about 2000 hours.

I’m not sure about this clean coal you are referring to. I know that some types of coal (hard or bituminous vs soft) have less particulates, and thus put out less pollution particulate wise, but isn’t their carbon output the same.
Why not use bio-mass instead. Think about all of the power that could be generated if we collected all of the rice stalks left after harvest instead of burning it in the fields.

Ethanol has also proven itself to be quite good, but what about it’s effect on rising food costs.
If they could find a practical way to use the carbohydrates in the plant byproducts left over after harvest this would be great.
I guess there is an acid they can use to do this, but still needs more development.

Another thing is VAWT or vertical wind turbines, alot of people dismiss this because they are not as efficient as the big horizontals, but they also provide many benefits for practical use in the urban environment.

  1. Noise - they are quiet.
  2. Turbulence - they will work on a rooftop in the city.
    3.Low rpm’s and windspeed - they will still produce energy at lower speeds.

The thing is, we may not have 20 years to figure out all of the answers. Seems like this recycled nuke thing could go online pretty quickly, and may buy some time to come up with better solutions.
It’s already here, and it is already a problem (disposal) so why not get some more use out of it.[/quote]

Costing is key when it comes to energy and CO2e mitigation - a point I’ve made ad-infinitum in previous threads. An efficient approach to dealing with climate change suggests we put a price on CO2 emissions that (at least partially) reflects their social cost, apportion carbon property rights (for me, the burner pays principle seems the easiest to justify and administer) and then let the market decide what the appropriate technological mix should be. The problem with nuclear power is that it is notoriously hard to cost - the insurance industry gave up on it a long time ago. If costing is a problem, how would we know if recycling nuke waste is a good idea compared to the alternatives?

Clean coal includes a portfolio of technologies that seek to minimize CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation and coal combustion generally. Going forward, CCS technologies may allow for zero emissions, but right now clean coal is largely about the construction of more efficient power stations. Combined-cycle generators are standard fare in the West and typically manage to convert 80% of the heat generated from burning coal into electricity. The old boiler-type generators are lucky if they manage 40%. If China and the rest of the industrializing world insist on building coal-fired power stations, let’s make sure they are building the combined-cycle variety. This is something we can do now and relatively easily (joint funding provided through the CDM? - should be plenty of cash around for this).

I’m all for renewables (spent some time working in that field also - these days I’m trying to turn myself into a CC adaptation expert), but again, the key question is how you go about making them an attractive option cost-wise for investors. In an ideal world, the carbon price would do the trick entirely, but that’s a big ask because of the higher up-front/deployment costs (and I’d include in this mix the indirect subsidization of coal-fired and nuke technologies). An mandatory renewables target could work, but this is a very opaque way to channel a subsidy and the target is often just a randomly selected figure. Possibly better to provide on-budget grants to all-comers.

You’re right about limited time. Unlike Fred, the task of getting emissions down to a level we can live with keeps me awake at night. This said, the choices we make and the institutions we put in place now to cost carbon and smooth the CC adaptation process are likely to be with us for the next 100 years. Best to put some thought into what we do. We can learn much, IMO, from the mistakes we made at the start of the Keynesian Revolution. The central premise of that shift in economic policy was correct in my view, but a lot of crap went along with it and we have spent the best part of quarter of century cleaning this up. Anyway, that’s probably the subject for another thread…

Fred, so glad you’ve joined the Legion aka those who like to wake up and smell the flowers instead of toxic fumes and drink non-potable water.

I’m glad you discovered this very important agenda, and I look forward to seeing you in the press protesting in front of the White House on an issue you so clearly care about and is near and dear to your heart.

but oh wait, shouldn’t you be already occupied (ah, should I avoid puns?) in Iraq fighting out the greatest of quests - Democracy - for your fellow brothers and sisters in Iraq, because if there’s one thing more near and dear to your heart than clean water and air in your lungs and stomach is that of the spirit of freedom ranging free, like a bell pealing throughout time and space across the vast deserts of the Middle East in what was once great and might empires of the Sassanians, Assyrians, and Sumerians.

March on ye Christian soldier off to war!